It's Friday, and the Dallas Cowboys have a game on Sunday. Woo hoo! Thank goodness the bye week is past us. So it's time to get down to business as we normally do on Friday, and this week that's finding out just who these Tennessee Titans are as a football team. Thankfully, we can turn to the SB Nation Titans blog, Music City Miracles, for answers. We posed 5 Questions, and got 5 Answers. And away we go...
Blogging The Boys: Evaluate the play of Chris Johnson. He's not quite on the pace of last year, and the big plays from him seem to be down. Thoughts on the running game?
Music City Miracles: The problems start with the offensive line. The loss of Kevin Mawae has had more of an impact than anyone expected. While there was no doubt that Mawae's physical skills had diminished, there wasn't a smarter center around. The interior of the Titans line is really missing that so far this season.
All of that being said, the Titans have arguably the best offensive line coach in the league in Mike Munchak, so I have no doubt they will get it fixed. They just need to do it sooner than later.
I also think play calling has been a part of the problem. Doug Farrar noted this morning that the Titans have gotten away from some of the things that made them successful last season.
BTB: How much will the season-ending injury to first round pick Derrick Morgan hurt the defense? How had he played so far?
MCM: Derrick Morgan was playing well. He had 2 sacks in the first 3 games. The Titans use a heavy rotation on the defensive line so that the guys are fresh to get after the passer so being a man down, and a very talented man at that, hurts quite a bit.
BTB: Give us your take on the whole Josh McDaniels calling the Titans defense "dirty players" thing.
MCM: Josh McDaniels is a baby. There was one personal foul called in that game against the Titans and it was a terrible roughing the passer call. Sure there might have been some things that the refs missed, but that is pretty unlikely because the refs pay extra close attention with the reputation the Titans have gotten.
Now the Titans do lead the league in personal fouls, so they have been playing some undisciplined football, but it isn't dirty football.
BTB: Where is Vince Young at as a starting QB now? Are the fans satisfied with his performance?
MCM: Vince has come a long way in the last couple of years as a starting quarterback. He is never going to be a pocket passer, but he has gotten a lot better at going through his progressions and taking what the defense gives him. He has a unique set of skill set that the Titans coaches need to do a better job of using.
As far as the fans go, I have never seen a more polarizing figure than VY. Some people think he walks on water and some think that Kerry Collins should be starting.
BTB: Give us a scouting report on the Titans defense.
MCM: The Titans defense is not the most talented group you will ever come across, but they play hard. They are aggressive and have been flying to the ball all season long. The defensive line has been much better this year than last at getting pressure on the quarterback, which has made the secondary look better.
The Titans get Gerald McRath, who missed the first four games of the season because of suspension for performance enhanching drugs, back on Sunday. He is a huge upgrade over Jamie Winborn who was filling in for McRath.
Rookie and MCM contributor Alterraun Verner will get his second start at corner. He help up well last week against the Broncos, but I would expect Tony Romo to take a few shots at him early.
This defense hasn't been great so far, but they have been good. They will be good again in this game if they get pressure on Romo. If not, Romo will have a field day.